Moncton woman battling Stage 4 cancer rides to raise money to fight the disease
MONCTON, N.B. -- The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions surrounding it have made it increasingly difficult to fundraise for charity events. However, a Moncton woman who is battling Stage 4 cancer is refusing to let the pandemic or her diagnosis slow her down.
Gini Bourque rides to raise money for the New Brunswick Doctors Cycling Against Cancer Fundraiser.
The 47-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and was deemed cancer-free in 2017.
However, two years later, she was re-diagnosed and is now a Stage 4 patient.
“It’s now metastatic breast cancer, so that means the cancer has now spread to my bones,” says Bourque.
Bourque first participated in the cycling fundraiser in 2017 after her initial recovery. Funds raised from the ride go directly to the Sheldon H Rubin Oncology Clinic in Moncton -- a place that has helped Bourque through years of treatments.
“The oncology clinic has become our second home,” says Wray Dunn, Bourque’s husband.
“We are there frequently over the last five years and, since COVID has come in, the biggest challenge as her spouse is the fact that I’m not able to attend her sessions at the hospital any longer.”
The New Brunswick Doctors Cycling Against Cancer ride is usually held in groups, but this year Bourque is riding on her own due to restrictions in place because the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now it's a solo cycle. I felt I could do something, so we did a couple test rides. I committed to 15 kilometers a day and a $2,000 goal, which I did not think I could reach,” says Bourque.
Bourque has far surpassed that goal, with over $13,000 raised.
“To see her pushing herself so hard and being so sore and tired, it’s amazing,” says Diana Bourque, Gini Bourque’s sister.
“From when her eyes open until her eyes close, she is constantly moving all day and I draw so much motivation and inspiration from her myself,” says Dunn.
Bourque says the five-day fundraiser is a physical challenge, but one that's well worth it.
“It’s still hard to do, but I believe that I just push myself, just don’t stop, just keep moving,” she says.